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(Books by David Weinberger)
The ongoing argument about whether the Internet is a boon or a bust to civilization usually centers on the Web’s abundance. With so much data and so many voices, we each have knowledge formerly hard-won by decades of specialization. With some new fact or temptation perpetually beckoning, we may be the superficial avatars of an A.D.D. culture.
David Weinberger, one of the earliest and most perceptive analysts of the Internet, thinks we are looking at the wrong thing. It is not the content itself, but the structure of the Internet, that is the important thing. At least, as far as the destruction of a millennia-long human project is concerned.
Judy Blume: Often Banned, But Widely Beloved
Judy Blume has been channeling the anxieties, dreams and secret thoughts of young readers for more than four decades. With her candid treatment of topics like bullying and puberty, she has won legions of fans around the world — but she's also drawn the ire of critics who want her frank books censored.
Simon & Schuster released an e-book edition of Ray Bradbury's science fiction classic "Fahrenheit 451" on Tuesday. First published in 1953, "Fahrenheit 451" is a dystopia in which reading is banned and it is the job of firefighters to burn books. 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.
The irony of releasing an e-book edition of a novel built around the death of print books was not lost on Bradbury, which is why he resisted the e-book idea. The Associated Press reports that the author was dismissive of the form, saying that e-books "smell like burned fuel." Bradbury, a noted futurist who at one time was a consultant for NASA, told the New York Times in 2009 that the Internet is "meaningless; it's not real.... It's in the air somewhere."
But the 91-year-old author has since changed his mind -- about e-books, at least. Hence "451" is available to digital readership.
Full article in the LA Times
NPR also has this related piece: Fahrenheit 451: What's The Temperature At Which E-Books Burn?
Which Republican is Winning the Book Sales Race?
Mitt Romney is the clear front-runner, with over 100,000 copies of his latest book, 2010's No Apology, sold in this year alone. Ron Paul's Liberty Defined is a distant second with 38,000 copies sold in 2011. Herman Cain's This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House is the surprise that isn't all that surprising: despite being released less than two months ago, it's in third place for 2011 sales by any Republican hopeful, closely mirroring the period of his ascendancy in the polls and 9-9-9 becoming part of the national lexicon. (Although at least a few copies were purchased by the Hermanator himself.)
Prolific science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey died Monday at her home in Ireland shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 85.
McCaffrey published nearly 100 books in her lifetime and was best known for her popular “Dragonriders of Pern” novels. In her bio on her website, McCaffrey shared the following insights about her approach to writing and her first novel, which was published in 1967:
“Her first novel, ‘Restoree,’ was written as a protest against the absurd and unrealistic portrayals of women in s-f novels in the ‘50s and early ‘60s. It is, however, in the handling of broader themes and the worlds of her imagination, particularly the two series ‘The Ship Who Sang’ and the fourteen novels about the ‘Dragonriders of Pern,’ that Ms. McCaffrey’s talents as a story-teller are best displayed.”
Article in the NYT: Andy Rooney, Mainstay on ‘60 Minutes’, Dead at 92
His book My War was a very good read.
Book description: My War is a blunt, funny, idiosyncratic account of Andy Rooney's World War II. As a young, naïve correspondent for The Stars and Stripes, Rooney flew bomber missions, arrived in France during the D-Day invasion, crossed the Rhine with the Allied forces, traveled to Paris for the Liberation, and was one of the first reporters into Buchenwald. Like so many of his generation, Rooney's life was changed forever by the war. He saw life at the extremes of human experience, and wrote about what he observed, making it real to millions of men and women. My War is the story of an inexperienced kid learning the craft of journalism. It is by turns moving, suspenseful, and reflective. And Rooney's unmistakable voice shines through on every page.
Laura sent over a link to Will Amazon Kill Off Publishers?
Amazon is getting a lot of heat these days over its attempts to push its way into the hearts and minds of readers, writers and the larger book culture -- even comic books. Indeed, the news last week that Amazon would aggressively expand its publishing efforts by signing up authors has ruffled the feathers of many agents and publishers.
Will Amazon's plan shake up the book publishing industry as more writers have the option of a one-stop shop: agent, publisher and bookseller? Are publishers still needed?
Your favorite author, brought to you by a wealthy patron
With primarily visual works — comics and art or photo books — Kickstarter seems a great way to solicit the extra cash needed to produce top-drawer work. Comics creators have flocked to it, hoping to finish discontinued series or add color to black-and-white books. But can it bring us the next Ann Patchett or Robert A. Caro? Or is that another part of our future that will be determined by billionaires?
SLJ spoke to Lauren Myracle about how she dealt with being nominated as a 2011 National Book Awards finalist—only to withdraw her name days later after the award sponsor admitted to making a mistake.
Three major publishers said on Wednesday that they would allow their authors to access book sales data directly online, a move that appeared to challenge Amazon and its continued efforts to woo authors.